WALT DISNEY WORLD RAILROAD Magic Kingdom
Board an old-fashioned steam train for a 15-20 minute tour encircling the Magic Kingdom, with a stop at Frontierland and Storybook Circus in Fantasyland.
Walt Disney World Railroad — Walt Disney developed a love of trains at an early age. When he was a young adult, he built a half-mile scale model railway in his backyard that he called the "Carolwood Pacific Railroad." At Disneyland, a railroad was one of the first attractions he planned. Later, when he began the design for what is now known as Walt Disney World Resort, Walt made sure that the train station was located near the entrance to the park.
Because of this, the Magic Kingdom has featured vintage, steam-powered trains since its opening in 1971. One of the first things visitors to the Magic Kingdom see as they approach the park is the Main Street Railroad Station — and one of the first sounds they hear is likely a train's steam whistle.
You can board the Walt Disney World Railroad at any of its three stations: the main station on Main Street, U.S.A.; the station in Frontierland; and the one in Storybook Circus in Fantasyland. You can also depart at any of these stations, or stay on board for the full 1.5-mile grand-circle tour, which takes about 20 minutes. A recorded narration describes the sights you're seeing as you make the circuit around the park at a leisurely, 10-12 mph pace.
Main Street Station — When you walk into the Magic Kingdom, you walk through a tunnel — in the center there are stairs that lead you up to the railway platform.
Frontierland Station — The Frontierland Station is located near Splash Mountain.
Fantasyland Station — The Fantasyland Station of the Walt Disney World Railroad is located in the Storybook Circus section of the park.
The railroad usually runs until just before the evening's fireworks. In fact, the elevated Main Street station is a terrific, and extremely popular, fireworks and parade viewing area.
There are some great views of the back side of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad from the train.
Those in an ECV must transfer to a standard wheelchair to board the railroad.
Strollers are permitted on the railroad.
Waiting for the Walt Disney Railroad at the Main Street train station? Put a quarter into the Antique Music Box located in the waiting room to hear a selection of tunes. Or put a coin into some of the other machines scattered around the station to watch a short movie.
The seats are open bench style with backs.
If you can't get enough of trains, you may want to take the "The Magic Behind Our Steam Trains Tour," a two-hour behind-the-scenes peek at the Walt Disney World Railroad. Cost is $30 per person (theme park admission is required). For more information, visit our Tour Descriptions page. To make a reservation, call 407-WDW-TOUR (939-8687).
Another spot for train buffs is the Carolwood Pacific Room, located in the Villas at the Wilderness Lodge. This sitting room features railroad memorabilia, including a special exhibit on loan from the Disney family, with two of Walt Disney's personal scale-model train cars and a piece of the original track. The art and architecture of the Villas at the Wilderness Lodge tell of the pioneers who built and stayed in late 19th century railroad hotels in the national parks region of the American West.
Disney Characters are typically not found riding the Walt Disney World Railroad, but kids sure do love trains!
Baldwin Locomotive Works of Philadelphia originally built the brightly painted locomotives in the 1910s and 1920s. They were purchased from United Railways of Yucatan in 1969, disassembled and shipped to a Tampa (Fla.) ship repair dock where they were renovated, bolt by bolt. The passenger cars were fabricated from scratch in the same warehouse where the locomotives were renovated. Originally wood burners, the locomotives were converted and currently are oil burners.
The four locomotives, which hauled both freight and passengers in the Yucatan, were renamed the Walter E. Disney, the Roy O. Disney, the Lilly Belle and the Roger E. Broggie. (Broggie was an Imagineer who also was a train fanatic.)
There's a nod to Walt Disney's backyard train, the Carolwood Pacific, at the Storybook Circus station on the clock face and above the main entrance.
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